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John Barrett Kerfoot

KERFOOT, John Barrett, P. E. bishop, born in Dublin, Ireland, 1 March, 1816; died in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, 10 July, 1881. He was brought to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, by his father in 1819, and at an early age entered a Sun-day school that had been opened by the Reverend William A. Muhlenberg, for whom he formed an attachment that lasted through life. Young Kerfoot followed Mr. Muhlenberg to Flushing, and was his pupil there and at College Point. On his twenty-first birth to the Protestant Episcopal ministry by Bishop Onderdonk, of New York. On the establishment of St. James's hall in Maryland, Mr. Kerfoot was put in charge, and he continued there, at the head of the school and afterward of the College of St. James, from 1842 till 1864. The civil war had a disastrous effect on the prosperity of the institution. Most of the students were from the southern states, while the sympathy of the rector was strongly with the supporters of the Union. In the midst of much trouble and anxiety, the work of the college was continued until in August, 1864, when the buildings were occupied by Confederate soldiers. Dr. Kerfoot was put under arrest, but released on condition that he should secure the surrender of Dr. Boyd who had been, it was claimed, unjustly held a prisoner by the Federal authorities. This was accomplished, and in September Dr. Kerfoot entered on the duties of the presidency of Trinity college, to which he had been elected a short time before. In the following year he was a deputy to the general convention of the Episcopal church, and took an influential part in the deliberations that led to the reunion of the church in the north and south. The western part of Pennsylvania having been set off as the diocese of Pittsburg, Dr. Kerfoot was chosen to be its first bishop, and, accepting the office, he was consecrated on 25 January, 1866. His work as bishop was successful within his diocese, and he also bore an honorable part in the first and the second Lambeth conferences, in the Old Catholic conference at Boone, and as a member of committees of the American house of bishops. The degree of D. D. was conferred on him by Columbia in 1850 and by Trinity in 1865, and that of LL.D. by the University of Cambridge, England, in 1867. Dr. Kerfoot published several sermons and addresses at different times. His life has been written by the Reverend Hall Harrison (New York, 1886).

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